Lessons in Excellence: The power of impossible thinking — episode 5

The first part of the discussions between strategy consultant Rama Bijapurkar and Wharton's Yoram (Jerry) Wind on The power of impossible thinking on CNBC to be telecast on Saturday May 14, 2005, at 10:30 pm, and repeat telecast on Sunday May 15, 2005, at 8:30 pm. Anchored by CNBC-TV18's Anuradha Sengupta.

Previewed exclusively on domain-b.

Anuradha Sengupta: In the past decade or so, in order to survive, Indian companies have had to go on crash courses to re-learn the rules of business. The paradigms for competition, consumer expectations, policy frameworks have all changed. On Lessons in Excellence today we'll talk about how to dismantle the old order and bridge the adaptive disconnects or the gaps that show up in the new way of making sense of the old and the new one. We'll do that with special focus on Indian companies and changing markets and consumers. Here is Jerry Wind and with him is marketing and business strategy consultant Rama Bijapurkar. Jerry, dismantling existing models; it's not an internal process only is it? It is about taking down or adapting the systems and processes that these models have spawned.

Yoram Wind: Correct. It is much more that changing the mental model of the company is reflected in their business and revenue models and value propositions and it really involves all the stakeholders of the firm and the entire architecture — organisational architecture of the firm. So not only have you to change your strategy — you have to change the components in terms of you have to focus on how to create a corporate culture, how do you change the structure, how do you change the business processes, what type of competencies do you need, what type of people do you need, what resources you need.

Anuradha Sengupta: This can be painful isn't it and this can be expensive — this entire process?

Yoram Wind: It is painful. The expense is really a question because a surgery is sometimes cheaper in the long run and more effective than slight changes. Furthermore, if you are going in for a re-invention of an organisation with having stretch objectives like with doubling of revenues and profits in three years or something like that it is obvious that you cannot continue doing this the old way. So you have to look at new ways of doing it and this typically leads companies to look for better and more efficient, cheaper and better ways, and faster ways of doing things. So it is not always more expensive, depending the way you do it.

Anuradha Sengupta: Right, Rama, this might not be more expensive but there is effort, energy, emotion, investment that has gone into creating this infrastructure, this investment — it's grand, maybe. Is that one of the reasons, maybe, why companies don't react so fast to the changing environment?